DECK THE HALLS



The best part about moving into my own place (apart from the obvious things!) is that now I get to decorate two Christmas trees every year! There are pros and cons to both trees - my parents get a fake one, but we decorate it with a sentimental array of ornaments we've been collecting since before I was born, and at my place we always get a big, bushy real tree which smells amazing, but still a bit sparse on the decoration front.






I love having mismatched ornaments, and I'm happy to have a slightly bare tree (especially as this year's is about 7 foot!) over decorations that are picked just to add bulk. There are vintage glass mushrooms, cheeky gnomes and feathered birds alongside sparkly pinecones and a handmade golden glitter star. Some have been gifts from others, others gifts to myself - new additions this year include the little white deer from Paperchase and some handmade clay ornaments. Decorations don't stop at the tree either...




Did you blog about your Christmas decorations? Link up below and we can all get in the festive spirit. 8 SLEEPS, PEOPLE!

CHRISTMAS DIY: gift wrap + bags


Last week I posted about the Christmas shoot I styled for 91 Magazine and this week I wanted to share some extra little crafty details that will perk up your gift wrapping.

I'm a big fan of simple brown paper and ribbon (this polka dot update is from Paperchase) and so it's usually the little details that make it extra special - one year I illustrated ribbons and gift tags straight onto the paper and last year I tied them up with jute string and a sprig of rosemary.



With the leftovers I had of the Imogen Owen x Quill London printable for 91 Magazine, I decided to make some little ribbon badges to adorn this year's presents. I simply cut-out discs, glued them to another layer of paper for a contrasting trim, and then used double-sided tape to attach different ribbons to the back. I love the way they look so much, I ended up making a whole bunch more which I will probably never give away!

I also found a way to re-use gift bags, covering any logos or brand names with a strip of satin ribbon and a little disc. I think it looks really sweet and it's a good way to use the bags I always keep for just such occasions, but never use because they usually have writing on them.





A PHOTO FOR FRIDAY | 20


It may not be a snow day today, but it’s the day after the office Christmas party so I definitely wish it was. Let’s cancel Friday and go back to bed!

Have a good weekend!

CHRISTMAS DIY: clay ornaments



Last week I got my Christmas craft on and made these little hanging ornaments to give out instead of Christmas cards this year. I got the idea from the DIY mecca that is A Beautiful Mess and used a couple of their designs, along with my own.

I used DAS air drying clay, though I wished I had Fimo as all the DIYs I've seen using it give a smoother, glossier finish.



I rolled the clay out in small batches using a rolling pin and then cut them out using a cookie cutter or, for the tiny discs, a metal tea light worked perfectly. Then I used a chopstick to make the ribbon hole and left them out to dry for about 24 hours. I got about 30 small discs, 10 large ones and a few other shapes out of 500g of clay, so it's nice to do a big batch if you have the time!



I tried out a couple of different markers, but the slightly rough finish shredded the soft tips of my fine sharpie pens. In the end, I found that a Pilot rollerball pen did the job nicely. Don't you think the gold glitter and neon velvet ribbons go so well together? They were cheap and cheerful at £1 a roll from Tiger. All in all I spent about £4 and have made decorations for lots of friends and family - I handed out the first batch at the weekend and I think they went down quite well! I think they would make sweet gift tags for presents and I also gave some blank ones to the kids I babysit for them to decorate themselves.


91 MAGAZINE: issue 11


I've been waiting for WEEKS to share this gorgeous shoot I styled for the December issue of 91 Magazine. After attending Quill London's amazing Modern Calligraphy Workshop back in July, I thought it would be fun to incorporate calligraphy into a Christmassy-diy. My calligraphy skills are still somewhat lacking, so I enlisted the lovely Imogen Owen to create a free printable exclusively for the magazine.


Imogen created a loosely seasonal design so that readers can keep crafting with it beyond Christmas, and the simple detailing translated perfectly onto lightweight card with a regular desktop printer. I played around with the motif to create some cards alongside Imogen's gift tag template - the best part is, using word, you can easily make your own stationery. Simply buy the new issue of 91 Magazine and download the template linked to in the article (page 84-87) - there are gift tags and cards, but you can also manipulate the motif yourself to print onto any size paper you like. If you do this, please always credit back to Imogen, Quill London and 91 Magazine as this printable is creative property and Imogen has kindly produced it for free.


I loved loved loved doing this little Christmassy shoot and I was so happy to have my friend Siobhan shooting the pictures for me. She captured everything so beautifully, don't you think? Check out her post for more images and a peek at the finished article. Next week, I'm going to be sharing an extra little project using the printable to create cute wrapping details and gift bags.


All images by Siobhan Watts for 91 Magazine.

A PHOTO FOR FRIDAY | 19


I know everyone is probably sick of everyone else banging on about how 'Christmas is coming up so quickly this year, isn't it?'...but isn't it?? There's something funny in the air this year for sure!

Anyway, this week felt super Christmassy - I finished most of my gift buying, we bought our Christmas tree (!), I had my first mulled wine of the year and I spent a lovely evening of crafting and listening to Michael Buble. This weekend, I'm going to be running around like a crazy person catching up with friends, babysitting, volunteering and meeting some dogs (more on both of those things another time!) and trying to squeeze as much Christmas cheer into the mix as possible (tree decorating + more mulled wine, most likely).

Next week I can't wait to post some festive things I've been saving up, including some more shots of Siobhan's gorgeous photos of my latest piece for 91 Magazine. Make sure you buy the new December issue - there's lots of gorgeous crafting and non-seasonal Christmassy things that will make it worth reading well into the new year too.

A VERY ANTHROPOLOGIE CHRISTMAS



A couple of weeks ago now, Jo and I went to a little Christmas shopping evening to celebrate the opening of Anthropologie’s new Richmond-Upon-Thames store. Anthropologie is hands-down my favourite shop – from the inspiring shop displays and beautiful products to the lovely staff, it’s just one of those places that makes you feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside.



There were glasses of fizz on hand, a Christmas cracker-making demonstration and a lovely goodie bag complete with Christmassy cactus. Plus, the evening was hosted by Red Magazine – one of my favourite magazines, so it was great to meet some of the team. If you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, I’ve rounded up a few of my Anthropologie picks in the Sprunting! Christmas Wish List (boyfriend, take note). Happy shopping!
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